Chitwan, Sept 2, 2019: Rhino census is to be conducted in March 2020. The census could not be organized in the last fiscal year as the donor agencies failed to provide the funding they had promised for the purpose.
The Department of National Parks and Wild life Conservation (DNPWC) has already allocated budget for the rhino census this time. It has allocated Rs 11 million for this purpose. The donor agencies would be approached for any shortfall in budget for the census.
Rhinos are found in Chitwan, Parsa, Bardiya and Shuklaphanta national parks. The census would be carried out in these national parks simultaneously.
DNPWC deputy director general Ram Chandra Kandel said home work has started for conducting the rhino census beginning from March 14, 2020. In this connection, task forces are being formed at the national parks under the coordination of the chief conservation officer of the park concerned. According to him, a separate committee would also be formed at the Department for this purpose.
Kandel said a budget of around Rs 15 million would be required for conducting the census in all the four national parks. The Department had not earmarked the budget under this heading last fiscal year.
He said the rhino count will take about one month in Chitwan national park while it will last from about a week to 10 days in other national parks.
The highest number of rhinos is found in Chitwan. As per the census held in 2015, there were 645 rhinos throughout the country. Of this number, 605 rhinos were counted in Chitwan national park alone.
Many rhinos were swept away by flood in Chitwan two years back while some of these pachyderms were found dead.